Nutrient Depletion and Addiction: The Need to Replenish Vitmains and Minerals in Recovery

Addiction Recovery Publishing Nutrition November 6, 2023

Nutrient Depletion and Addiction: The Need to Replenish Vitmains and Minerals in Recovery

There should be little argument that Hawaii’s Big Island is a restorative place. With its white sand and cliffside beaches, majestic mountains, lush forests, and stunning waterfalls, it is a place that replenishes the mind, body, and soul. This can be especially true for those in need of recovery from issues of addiction and/or mental health. Many of these individuals are unaware that they also suffer from nutrient depletion due to their addiction. This, too, can be restored on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island.

Understanding Nutrient Depletion and Addiction

There is a phrase that is still said among the residents of Hawaii’s Big Island. It is “‘IMI OLA,” which means that we must always be seeking our best lives. We must always be seeking progress. That we must be on a mission to find the most value out of the time we have. This can only be accomplished if we are healthy both inside and out, and nutrient depletion goes against that mission.

Addiction to alcohol and substances greatly reduces the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that we need to function at our most optimal level. According to the peer-reviewed article, Mechanisms of Vitamin Deficiencies in Alcoholism, “Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A. Although inadequate dietary intake is a major cause of the vitamin deficiency, other possible mechanisms may also be involved. Alcoholism can affect the absorption, storage, metabolism, and activation of many of these vitamins.”

These nutrients must be replenished if one is to heal at the cellular level. The good news is that there are many effective options to reverse nutrient depletion. These options include infusion therapy, pharmaceutical-grade supplements, and nutrition therapy (which includes a focus on the gut microbiome). However, for many individuals, before any of this is to happen, they must go through a safe and comfortable detox process.

Reversing Nutrient Depletion Starting With a Safe and Comfortable Detox

Many people suffer from severe nutrient depletion when they first enter recovery and require detox. These nutrients must be replenished as soon as possible. But, it must also occur in a safe and secure manner.

According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, “Detoxification is the safe and effective discontinuation of a substance of dependence or misuse, whether an illicit substance or a prescribed drug therapy. The goals of detoxification treatments are to minimize any withdrawal effects and alleviate any side effects, with the primary aim of successfully completing the withdrawal procedure and therefore providing the opportunity for sustained abstinence.” These withdrawal effects are greatly reduced if the proper nutrients are restored to optimal levels.

One way to ensure that nutrient depletion is combated is by taking one’s blood sample and checking to see where the deficiencies are. This can be done by a licensed naturopathic doctor. At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we have a naturopathic doctor on site who can help aid in any nutrient deficiencies. Once analyzed, a determination can be made as to how to combat certain deficiencies. One of the most optimal and healthful ways to do this is via a nutritional therapy program.

Utilizing Nutrition Therapy for Nutrient Depletion

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we have a saying; “Food is medicine.” That is because the food that we take into our bodies can truly heal us at the cellular level. This is especially true when it comes to reversing nutrient depletion.

According to the article, New Approaches to Nutritional Therapy, “Nutritional Therapy uses food to prevent and reverse diseases that plague most Western societies: diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, and depression. In order for food to be therapeutic, it must be nutrient-dense, measured in part by the nutrients and anti-nutrients, contained in consumed foods.” This last aspect of nutritional therapy is very important because it is the “anti-nutrients” that many people often forget about when it comes to a healthy diet.

The article further explains, “Anti-nutrients are food products that have no biological necessity. Though edible, these are not considered ‘food’: high fructose corn sweeteners, sugars, artificial sweeteners, highly processed and hydrogenated fats, refined flour products, preservatives, and additives. Further, some critical nutrients become anti-nutrients when consumed in excess.” The good news is that these anti-nutrients can easily be combated with a healthy nutrient-rich diet. This diet should also focus on what is known as “the gut-brain axis” and the gut microbiome.

Understanding Nutrient Depletion and the Gut Micro-Biome

There is now much evidence that shows that the way in which our gut reacts to food can greatly increase our overall well-being. This is where the concept of maintaining a healthy gut-brain axis comes in.

According to the scientific article, Gut Microbiota’s Effect on Mental Health: The Gut-Brain Axis. Clinics and Practice, “The bidirectional communication between the central nervous system and gut microbiota, referred to as the gut-brain axis, has been of significant interest in recent years. Increasing evidence has associated gut microbiota to both gastrointestinal and extragastrointestinal diseases. Dysbiosis and inflammation of the gut have been linked to causing several mental illnesses including anxiety and depression, which are prevalent in society today.” Healthy nutrients must exist for a healthy gut-brain axis to function. 

These nutrients can be derived via nutritional therapy and a comprehensive and well-planned diet created by licensed nutritionists and dieticians. At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we have renowned dieticians and nutritionists who are ready to help replenish nutrients and answer any questions that may arise. We also have world-class chefs who ensure that eating nutritionally is not a chore; rather, it is a joy. However, we do not stop focusing on nutrition at the dietary level. We also have infusion therapies, which can be essential when it comes to combatting nutrient depletion and healing at the cellular level.

Understanding Infusion Therapy for Nutrient Depletion

Infusion therapy can be an ideal component of any comprehensive recovery plan. This is especially true when it comes to those in need of nutrient rejuvenation due to mental illness or addiction.

Infusion therapy can be an optimal way to replenish nutrients because they are instantly absorbed into the bloodstream, which aids in greater absorption and quicker nutrient recovery. While there are many infusions that can aid in recovery, there are three that have been shown to be highly effective. These are nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide infusions, Myers cocktails infusions, and glutathione infusions.

The Benefits of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Infusions

According to the article, Clinical Evidence for Targeting NAD Therapeutically, “The cofactor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is an important metabolic regulator of cellular redox reactions and a co-factor or a co-substrate for key enzymes essential for normal cellular function in different tissues.” Infusions are an ideal way to ensure that these “co-substrates” are replenished to essential levels. Also, the benefits of NAD infusions can often be seen almost immediately.

These benefits include heightened energy levels, defense against free radicals, and support for detoxification. Infusions are also ideal for individuals who are going through withdrawal as they can also reduce the feelings of cravings. Myers Cocktails also have a myriad of nutrition-replenishing benefits.

The Benefits of Myers Cocktails

Myers Cocktails were first found to benefit a number of physical ailments. According to the peer-reviewed article, Intravenous Nutrient Therapy: The “Myers’ Cocktail”, “The modified “Myers’ cocktail,” which consists of magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C, has been found to be effective against acute asthma attacks, migraines, fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome), fibromyalgia, acute muscle spasm, upper respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, seasonal allergic rhinitis, cardiovascular disease, and other disorders.” It has now been shown to be highly beneficial for those struggling with issues of addiction and mental health.

As previously mentioned, to heal from addiction at the cellular level, one must have the right levels of nutrition. Myers Cocktails helps to ensure that that happens. There are also many other benefits that can be felt right away from the infusions. These benefits include better immunity, increased mental acuity, reduced stress levels, heightened energy levels, and improved sleep patterns. Myers Cocktails can even aid in digestion, improve mood and have been shown to help with hair growth and skin complexion.

The Benefits of Glutathione Infusions

Glutathione infusions have been shown to be highly beneficial. According to the article, Glutathione!, by one of the leading authorities on the subject, Dr. J. Pizzorno, “It is hard to overstate the importance of glutathione… It plays a crucial role in shielding cellular macromolecules from endogenous and exogenous reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. While it directly quenches some free radicals, of perhaps greater importance is that it deals directly with the causes of oxidative stress such as mercury and POPs [persistent organic pollutants].”

The benefits of this reduction in POPs include the protection of cells from further damage, increased energy levels, improved sleep patterns, better mood, enhanced brain cognitive functioning, and reduced stress. Of course, nutritional and infusion therapy can only take recovery so far. They are best optimized when they are utilized in tandem with other forms of therapy. Nature immersion therapy and Psychedelic and Ketamine therapies are prime examples of this.

The Benefits of Psychedelic and Ketamine Therapies

Psychedelic and ketamine therapies continue to show impressive results when it comes to treating issues of addiction and mental health. According to the article, Ketamine for the Treatment of Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders: Comprehensive Systematic Review, “In the past two decades, subanaesthetic doses of ketamine have been demonstrated to have rapid and sustained antidepressant effects, and accumulating research has demonstrated ketamine’s therapeutic effects for a range of psychiatric conditions.”

It is not difficult to find the link between better mood stabilization and a better focus on nutrition. The two are symbiotically related. When we feel better, we eat better; when we eat better, we feel better. There is even more evidence that shows that ketamine therapy can aid in this better mood state.

According to a study reported in the peer-reviewed article, Efficacy of Ketamine Therapy in the Treatment of Depression, “[A] single dose of ketamine has rapid action on depressive symptoms, and this action persists even for a week, which suggests its possible role in neuroplasticity. Many studies showed remission of depressive symptoms 1-week post-infusion… The neuropsychiatric effect of a subanesthetic dose of ketamine helps in the management of suicidal ideation and reduces self-harm or suicide in addition to the reduction in depressive symptoms.” Yet, with all of the evidence, many recovery centers are wary of utilizing these therapies. 

At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we offer closely monitored psychedelic and ketamine therapy. They have been shown to be highly effective in helping our clients heal.

The Benefits of Nature Immersion Therapy

Nature immersion therapy is also an ideal way to utilize the newfound energy that nutrient replenishment offers and there is no better place to experience nature than on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island.

This therapy has been shown to be highly effective at helping people reconnect to themselves via a reconnection to the world around them. Similar to the other therapies discussed, it also has many other benefits.

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Besides physical health improvements, nature exposure can bring about positive influence upon psychological constructs such as boredom, friendliness, wellbeing, and liveliness. Also, ”Besides improvements to physical and psychological well-being, exposure to natural environments has been shown to bring about positive impacts on cognitive functioning.” Connecting to the land can also connect us to our food and thus give us an intimate relationship with our nutritional needs. This is especially true when it comes to horticulture therapy.

The Benefits of Horticulture Therapy

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we are dedicated to having a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables right on our property. These fruits and vegetables also offer our clients an opportunity to get their hands in the dirt and create a close connection to their food. Our clients tend to our rows of citrus and coconut trees, pineapple patches, and guava bushes as they participate in our horticulture therapy program.

Horticulture therapy can be highly beneficial in more ways than many people may understand. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Horticulture could have emotional benefits, such as reducing stress, reducing psychiatric symptoms, stabilizing mood, and increasing the sense of tranquility, spirituality, and enjoyment… It could help people to reduce fatigue and restore attention and cognitive ability… It could increase self-efficacy, self-esteem, and quality of life.” So, not only do we believe that “food is medicine,” we actually grow our medicine right on our 30-acre luxury recovery center.

Replenishing Nutrients and So Much More at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

There is another phrase that we use here on Hawaii’s Big Island. It goes “KA LĀ HIKI OLA.” This translates to “It is the dawning of a new day,” It is a phrase of promise and optimism, and it is what we believe here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab.

We understand that taking the first step toward recovery can be the hardest part. That is why we have everything ready to go and taken care of the moment our clients walk through our recovery center doors. From our nutritional therapy programs to our traditional mental health modalities to yoga on the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean, we have the tools and environment that it takes to heal at the cellular level.

Yes, issues of addiction and mental health deplete us of the nutrients that we need to function at our most optimal levels. But, it also depletes us of so much more. It takes away our ability to live and dream the lives that we deserve. Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we are here to replenish those dreams, one client at a time.